Success Is Not The Point

Since I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training last month and started the classes, I’ve had a number of people ask me if I intend to quit my job and do yoga full time. A couple of people even hinted that I shouldn’t, in their opinion, as they doubt my chance of success at it.

We all have those people in our lives. The ones who try their best to be supportive but, for whatever reason that is completed unrelated to us or our potential and has everything to do with them and what they’re going through at the moment, can’t quite mask their lack of support. Too often, their voice becomes our internal voice, especially if we hold a high respect for their opinion.

Sometimes hearing that doubt, or having someone tell us we can’t do something, just so happens to light a fire under our ass and make us want to do it even more. My biggest motivator: proving people wrong. I might not have asked for their opinion, but I’ll certainly use it to my advantage if I’m able.

Aside from fueling my fire, these conversations have also gotten me thinking about what I want to do with this training. When I signed up, I didn’t have much in mind because I knew I didn’t know enough about it to have a well-formed opinion yet. I knew I wanted to learn more about how yoga helps those with PTSD, but learning was really my only goal. Now that I’ve been through a few classes and had enough time to think about it, I’ve discovered one point of certainty:

The point is not to succeed, the point is to try.

This applies to anything, and it paints my past in an entirely different shade. So many elements are beyond our control. In fact, the only thing we ultimately have control over is ourselves: our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Everything else is out of our hands. We can’t control other people. We are not responsible for their actions, words, or decisions. Making peace with knowing you did your best, and forgiving yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it, is the key to peace and fulfillment.

When it comes to what I’ll be doing with my Yoga Teaching Certification, I definitely hope to continue with training in Yoga for PTSD, learn as much as I can about as much as I can, and give back as much as I can.

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Ann Edwards